April 24, 2013 - To the editor:
From the age of 5 to the age of 41, I lived in Oakville.
I went to Wohlwend Elementary School and I am a 1987 graduate of Oakville Senior High School. My high-quality education from the Mehlville School District enabled me to become a seasonal park ranger at Crater Lake National Park, Ore., for the past 21 years.
Unfortunately, it alarms me that my family and I lived for 36 years in Oakville just a few miles from Ameren Missouri’s coal-fired Meramec Power Plant.
The Meramec Power Plant is our region’s largest emitter of sulfur dioxide, a leading contributor to asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Since the construction of Meramec Power Plant in 1953, it operates to this day without any kind of pollution controls for sulfur dioxide.
The June 2012 Environmental Integrity Project report showed approximately 1,000 asthma attacks and 57 to 100 premature deaths occur each year because of the Meramec plant.
These deaths are not just statistics. They are our friends, neighbors and family living in Oakville and the St. Louis area.
Sadly, the Meramec plant’s contribution to premature deaths costs Oakville and nearby residents more than the estimated retail value of the electricity it generates. Ameren admits it doesn’t need this plant.
In fact, greater energy efficiency could easily prompt it to close this 59-year-old coal plant within a few years.
For our health and wallet, now is the time to retire Meramec Power Plant.